The History of Valentine’s Day

Every year on February 14th, millions of people around the world celebrate the day of love. Valentine’s Day is known as a day to show your significant other how much you love and care for them. Even if you’re single, it is a day to show love to your loved ones as well as loving yourself.

 

But do you know the actual of this day? History.com explains why Valentine’s day came to have the significance it has towards Christian and Ancient Roman traditions. The Catholic Church recognized at least 3 different people named Valentine or Valentinus, who were all martyred. In case you didn't know, there is a legend that says Saint Valentine was a priest who served in the third century in Rome. Emperor Claudius II decided one day that single men made better soldiers than those who were married and had families. Valentine of course was not happy about this, so he continued to perform marriages for young lovers without Claudius knowing. Unfortunately, Claudius found out and ordered to put him to death.

 

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There is another story that Valentine may have been killed trying to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were being brutally tortured. Another legend says that Valentine spent his first ever Valentine’s Day greeting himself after falling in love with a young girl who may have been a jailor’s daughter. She visited him during his confinement and, before his death, he wrote her letter signed ‘From Your Valentine’. Although we may not know the actual truth to Valentine’s Day, the personal characteristics that Saint Valentine had were sympathetic, heroic, and romantic.

 

There are many other myths you may have heard about St. Valentine. A surprising fact is that Valentine’s skull is located in Rome and you can actually travel there to see it with your own eyes! It is on display at Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. In the early 1800s, a catacomb was excavated near Rome and it had skeletal remains that were associated with St. Valentine. The bits and pieces of the late saint were distributed to reliquaires in countries like the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.

 

February is my favourite month because of how much love it brings. History.com has other surprising facts and history about St. Valentine in case you want to give it a read! In reality, love should be celebrated every day. The stories of St. Valentine should give us a life lesson to always be kind to everyone around us, even if they’re complete strangers.

 

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